Man dies trying to save dog from freight train in Gaffney SC

A South Carolina man died in an unlikely train crash this week, as he tried to save a dog that stubbornly refused to give way to an oncoming freight train.

The dog was also killed, according to Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler.

This happened around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday near the 300 block of River Drive in Gaffney, Fowler said in a press release. Gaffney is approximately 55 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Andy Junior Coyle, 43, saw his dog sitting on the tracks as a long train approached the spot, Fowler said.

“Coyle was hit … while trying to save his dog from the northbound Norfolk-Southern freight train,” he said.

“The train video shows the dog sitting in the middle of Main Track 2 directly behind 319 River Drive. Coyle was trying to move the dog when the two were hit. He and the dog died instantly.

The train had three engines and 34 cars and was traveling from Atlanta to Rutherford, Pa., Officials said.

Coyle lived on Walnut Street, about two miles southwest of the tracks.

“An autopsy will be performed Thursday as part of the coroner’s inquest into the fatal accident,” Fowler said.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering topics such as schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness, and non-profit organizations. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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